An international online magazine that publishes Surrealist poetry in English.
The Clapping Tree
I hope it's worth it, this dying inside –
whiskey, salt, tobacco and then a moment
of hunger – flour and fat's dour tickle.
My ovaries are crippled, my eggs
no good. I was life! the ball and
feather falling multi-crumbled
in the language of entropy, babies
so terrible they'd suck murder
from the sky, ranchers milking
moon-cows, soldiers reporting
to duty, little birds coin-spilled
across the table. I never complained.
I swept them off: clap fears, placentas
eaten raw, Gods' and fathers' rabid tongues
wobbling in ecstasy – all cause for exhaustion.
I am tired. Tired of this house. Tired of this ravening.
It has been so long since I studied life with fire.
A Few Things Written on My Hands
Grief has a way of cleansing the bowels,
the guttural enema so swift it scours
the halls of all machines that rise up
from the ground, frenzied entitlement
exposed. I would love to have floated
above my father, alone on his bed as,
alone, I lie upon mine, wanting to swim
in the vaginous oceans of unconsequenced
wombs – not wither in the carcass but pump
and thrust the distant heart. I have a bowl
of food in front of me. I have a bowl of grief
chopping the opera into pieces. I cannot mend
the wound within our groin. Was it worth it, then,
the suffering? Only if we could suffer it again.
The bird circles endlessly in my room, in the half-light –
comes close, carries the harsh carnival of his eye to mine,
causing my neck to fall down in slices of yellow,
my shoulder to reveal the five sleeping armies.
The bird lands upon my chest, pulls my ribs apart
and inspects with repetitious punctures,
clears his way with instinctive swiftness.
Places my heart in the corner for later doings.
Pulls paper from my walls to line the emptiness.
Flies off to cut up my heart to feed to the voices
in our newly-appointed womb.
The bird sews up the wound with strips of bark, holding
the flesh in place with one foot while straining upward
and back, tightening the sutures with quick,
jerky motions of his beak.
I feel the occupants growing dangerous.
I feel them hunting ways of escape.
I know they will be merciless.
Matt Dennison is from New Orleans. His work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review, The Matador Review and Cider Press Review, among others.